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Five Students, Two Staff Earn NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Awards

The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) recently selected five MNTC students and two MNTC staff members to honor with Aspirations in Computing Awards. The NCWIT Oklahoma Affiliate Virtual Awards for Aspirations in Computing took place on April 18.

According to NCWIT,

Aspirations in Computing (AiC) changes what’s possible for women in technology from K-12 through career by offering the kind of encouragement that combats isolation, enables long-term persistence, opens doors, and changes lives.

  • Westmoore High School junior and MNTC Web Design student Kaylin Charlton, WHS junior and Pre-Engineering student Josephine Littlecreek, and WHS senior and Web Design student Karina Rodriguez each earned the 2020 Oklahoma Affiliate Rising Star Award.
  • Moore High School senior and MNTC Pre-Engineering student Olivia Mitchell and MHS and MNTC Pre-Engineering student Lauren Smith each earned 2020 Oklahoma Affiliate Honorable Mention Awards.
  • MNTC Programming and Software Development Instructor Rachel Hurt earned the 2020 Oklahoma Affiliate Educator Award.
  • MNTC Pre-Engineering Instructor Olga Caulfield earned the 2020 Oklahoma Affiliate Educator Honorable Mention Award.

Below is information from the NCWIT - Oklahoma Affiliate Virtual Awards for Aspirations in Computing program: 

2020 Oklahoma Affiliate Rising Stars

Kaylin Charlton, Westmoore High School & MNTC Class of 2021

Kaylin entered the Web Design program at Moore Norman Technology Center as a junior. She is proficient in JavaScript and Adobe Illustrator. She uses File Transfer Protocols and CSS pages daily. Kaylin was selected for the Congress for Global Good Award of Excellence for outstanding academic achievement, leadership potential, and determination to serve humanity in the STEM fields. Future plans include obtaining a college degree. Her Web Design certification will help her fund college while seeking a business degree with a project management emphasis. A long-term goal is to work in a government field such as a judiciary agency.

Josephine Littlecreek, Westmoore High School & MNTC Class of 2021

Josie has been studying in the technical field for about three years now. She has been in the engineering program in her high school where she learned CAD and worked on a variety of projects involving some that have helped her school's community. She also has been involved with VEX and has used ROBOTC. She has always been in love with technology and loves trying new things. She is enrolled at a local vocational center where she is learning more about programming.

Karina Rodriguez, Westmoore High School & MNTC Class of 2020

Karina is interested in going to college for a computer science or programming degree and becoming the first person in her family to obtain a college degree. She loved engineering classes in junior high but was told that it wasn't “a career for women” so she pursued web design. Now she sees a way to pursue her dream incorporating web design skills. She has passed the WOW Exam and earned a certificate which verifies her skills in this field. Business Professionals of America is a new experience for Karina, and she intends to run for office which will be a new accomplishment. She has maintained high grades and perfect attendance in this two-year program while learning HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

2020 Oklahoma Affiliate Honorable Mentions

Olivia Mitchell, Moore High School & MNTC Class of 2020

Olivia has always had a passion for math and science. In the eighth grade, she was accepted into Moore Norman Technology Center’s Pre-Engineering program where she discovered her future career in environmental engineering where she can design solutions that correct and prevent threats from pollution. She is also involved with Technology Student Association and SkillsUSA. She was selected to be a member of her school’s National Honor Society and serves as the NHS Historian. Through NHS, she has tutored numerous teens in various subjects. She has volunteered at the food bank and has taken part in her school’s Christmas Adopt-A-Family program. In college, she hopes to volunteer with organizations like Engineers Without Borders where she wishes to make a positive impact on countless lives at home and abroad.

Lauren Smith, Moore High School & MNTC Class of 2021

Lauren has been involved in the technical world for eight years with FIRST Robotics programs and plans to be involved in the technical world for the rest of her life. Her greatest technical accomplishment has been teaching herself HTML and coding a website from the ground up for her robotics team. In the future, she would like to be a software engineer for either AI, app development or both. She would like to study and create projects that are needed in day to day life to help people such as those with disabilities. She plans on majoring in Computer Science in college.

2020 Oklahoma Affiliate Educator Award Winner

Rachel Hurt, MNTC Programming & Software Development Instructor

Rachel has her undergraduate degree in Computer Programming. During her undergraduate work she participated in NASA's Workforce Development program which included a trip to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. She also volunteered with Oklahoma Women in Science and collaborated with the engineering department when they competed in the Human Exploration Rover Challenge for three years. She began teaching a workshop using App Inventor at a summer camp called TechTrek for middle school girls to get them interested in Computer Science. Last summer completed the fifth year that she has been involved with TechTrek. She completed her master's of business administration degree in December 2016 and is now enrolled in a doctoral program for a DCS in Big Data. She is involved in OKWIT and continues to inspire females of all ages to become future Computer Scientists.

2020 Oklahoma Affiliate Educator Honorable Mention

Olga Caulfield, MNTC Pre-Engineering Instructor

Olga was born overseas and moved to the United States when she was 21. While originally pursuing a degree in Applied Math and Computer Science, she came to realize that she enjoyed working with people. Olga aspires to change the world one little step at a time by working with people, helping people overcome their fear of math/science and inspire people to be the best version of themselves. She ended up becoming a teacher. Olga has been teaching STEM subjects for the past 10 years. Currently she teaches PLTW Pre-Engineering classes and AP Physics and loves what she does.

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